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Chester Zoo’s epic Christmas Lanterns event is returning this year

Get this in your diary!

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Chester Zoo/Facebook

Chester Zoo is full steam ahead with the planning of their Christmas events including the traditional lanterns show.

It is officially now 20 weeks until Christmas – if you blinked you might have missed this year.

Luckily, Chester Zoo has revealed plans for the after-hours event will be going ahead for the ninth year.

The trail sees illuminated wildlife, colourful lanterns and even enchanting costumed characters spread across 11 fantastical worlds, each completely different.

Chester Zoo/Facebook

This year’s event has been carefully planned to ensure all guests are safe and have a memorable Chester Zoo experience. 

You will start at Cactus Desert, welcomed by a world of colour and movement. The path is lit by glowing cacti, frogs and chameleon characters. Next up is Over the Rainbow followed by the dramatically stripy world of Zebra Grasslands and then the calming power of nature in Garden of Delight. 

This year also sees the return of the Underwater World which transports you to the bottom of the sea complete with a show-stopping octopus. 

Ticket sales for The Lanterns are vital for the survival of the zoo and its contributions to ending extinction.

Chester Zoo/Facebook

The coronavirus pandemic meant Chester Zoo had to shut for three months leaving a huge £5.5m scar on the finances. 

Head of guest experience at Chester Zoo, Jon Turley, said: “Events that help us to bring some additional income into our charity will be absolutely crucial in securing the future of our zoo and our species-saving work. That’s why we’re so, so excited to be able to bring The Lanterns back again this year.

“With safety and social distancing firmly at the forefront of our minds, far fewer tickets have been made available for our event this time around, which might just make it an even more magical experience for those who secure a ticket.

“We’re planning to transform the zoo into a spectacular winter wonderland, featuring 11 fantastical worlds.

“Guests will be welcomed into an exotic world of colour and movement, where larger than life illuminations and animal characters await. Making a return this year will be our popular ‘Underwater’ world, which will transport visitors to the bottom of the sea where they’ll discover a giant show-stopping octopus.”

He continued: “We’ve made a few adjustments so that there will be less physical interaction with visitors this time, but we’re sure that our array of never-before-seen features will ensure guests will make memories that last a lifetime.

“We can’t wait to welcome people back to The Lanterns, see lots of big smiles on faces and, at the same time, raise valuable funds so we can continue our mission of preventing extinction as a wildlife conservation charity.”

The Lanterns will be open from November 13th to December 23rd and tickets are available now, with prices starting at £16 for an adult and £13.50 for children.

Find out more here

What's On

Glastonbury cancelled for the second year running due to coronavirus

Sad news

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Paul Holloway / Flickr

Glastonbury Festival has officially been cancelled for the second year running.

It will no longer take place in 2021 due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The news was announced on the festival’s official Twitter page today, Thursday January 21st.

The post said: “With great regret, we must announce that this year’s Glastonbury Festival will not take place.

“And that this will be another enforced fallow year for us. Tickets for this year will roll over to next year. Full statement below and on our website. Michael & Emily.”

Organiser Emily Eavis told the BBC last month that she hoped the festival could still happen, despite ‘huge uncertainty’ surrounding live music at the moment.

She said: “We’re doing everything we can on our end to plan and prepare, but I think we’re still quite a long way from being able to say we’re confident 2021 will go ahead.”

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A huge first-of-its-kind live entertainment venue is opening in Manchester this year

A fantastic new addition to our city

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Circle Square Manchester

A new ‘first-of-its-kind’ entertainment venue is set to open this year in Manchester.

The one-stop destination will see a combination of live music, events, entertainment, food, drink and socialising all in the venue. 

Canvas will be home to three different areas: Canvas Kitchen, Canvas Club and Canvas Events.

The development will take place at Circle Square and have space for 100 in Canvas Kitchen and a further 400 people in the live music and events space.

Circle Square Manchester

The venue will be open from 7am until 4am every single day meaning you can enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner and even a night out all in one place. 

You’re guaranteed to be in good hands too with the team behind Canvas Manchester responsible for the likes of Hammersmith Apollo, Brixton Academy and G-A-Y Manchester.

The calendar for events is expected to be well-rounded with the likes of wellbeing events, room for social activism, plus gigs, networking events and workshops. 

Gavin Aldrich, CEO at BeSixth, said of the new development: “We’ll be in the heart of a thriving, city centre neighbourhood that brings together people from all walks of life – be it students, shoppers, business owners or academics – and it’s this community that makes us confident Circle Square will be the perfect destination to launch Canvas Manchester.”

Circle Square Manchester

Tom Renn, Managing Director of Bruntwood SciTech – Manchester added: “Our ambition for Circle Square was always to create a destination – a place that would bring people together morning, day and night and a place that would become part of the fabric of the city. Somewhere tourists and innovators would see as a must-visit when coming to Manchester.

Adding: “The live music industry has understandably suffered as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but where better to drive its resurgence than in the ‘City that thinks a table is for dancing on’?”

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Bez is launching his own lockdown fitness classes called Get Buzzin’ With Bez

He wants to inspire the nation like Joe Wicks

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Spoke TV / YouTube

Bez is set to launch his very own fitness classes online to see everyone through lockdown.

The Happy Mondays maraca-shaking dancer is releasing his own series of classes called ‘Get Buzzing With Bez’, as he attempts to shift his own lockdown weight. 

The classes will launch on January 17th showing Bez being trained by a fitness instructor, something he’s describing as ‘somewhere between Joe Wicks and Mr Motivator’. 

He said: “I’d like to think I’m somewhere between Joe Wicks and Mr Motivator. I’ve started this new year seriously unfit, with a fat belly and creaky hips, and I can’t stop eating chocolate.

“Last lockdown I got unfit, fat, lazy and into some seriously bad eating habits.

“This year, this lockdown, I need to sort it out sharpish.”

He added that people can join him ‘on this mad journey or just sit on the sofa and have a good laugh at me’.

He added: “At the very least, I know I’ll be making people smile, at best I’ll be helping people get fit and mentally happier alongside me.”

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Get Buzzin’ With Bez is launching over on YouTube on Sunday January 17th, with Bez encouraging us to get active every week for three months.

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